Arsonist given suspended term

A Thessaloniki clothes-shop assistant was given a suspended three-year sentence yesterday for involvement in one of a string of over 60 arson attacks in the northern city in 2003 and 2004. He had been remanded for 10 months. Polycarpos Georgiadis, 26, was tried under tight security in the eastern Macedonian town of Serres for fear of trouble from sympathizers belonging to Thessaloniki anarchist groups, who are suspected of being behind the 10-month gas-canister bombing spree. A group of youths held a support rally for Georgiadis in central Thessaloniki on Tuesday night. Georgiadis was arrested during a police ambush on April 16, 2004, as he was preparing to plant a gas-canister bomb under a private security firm’s van parked on 28 Octovriou Street. A suspected accomplice evaded arrest after using pepper spray on the four plain-clothes officers. Security firms’ vans were among the arsonists’ favored targets, which also included banks, diplomatic vehicles, public sector buildings and churches. Nobody was hurt in the attacks.

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